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How Getting A Free Credit Report Can Save You From Identity Theft

You should get a free credit report from the three reporting agencies each year. It is your right out of the Fair Debit Collection And Reporting Act to get a free report annually from the three main reporting agencies. These are TransUnion, Equifax and

Identity theft is a pressing problem throughout the nation. When you think of identity theft, you may think about something out of a spy novel. Identity theft is a bit more subtle. No one gets a mask and fake fingerprints. It is not like it is seen in the movies. But it is very devastating to your credit. In the past, people have actually filed bankruptcy because of identity theft. For the most part, identity theft attacks the unsuspecting person who does not monitor their credit reports. Someone gets your social security number and name, through a variety of different means, and then proceeds to use this open up accounts using your name and social security number. Only they have the cards and bills sent to another address. Of course the bills are not paid. The credit company contacts a fake phone number and sends bills and threatening letters to another address. In the meantime, you do not know anything about it. Until finally you get some call from someone who tracks you down or you apply for credit and do not get it because of bad credit. That is when you find out that you have been the victim of identity theft. Certain laws are now in place to help protect you from identity theft. One of them is the Fair Credit Reporting Act that allows you to get a free credit report every year from each of the three reporting agencies. You are also entitled to get a free credit report if you find that you have been turned down for a loan. If you have been turned down for credit, you have to be notified in writing. The company to which you applied will tell you that they have based their decision on information obtained by one of the three reporting agencies. While some people are tempted to brush off this incident as embarrassing, it is important to get a copy of the credit report from the agency who reported to the company to make sure that there is nothing on the credit report that does not belong to you. In most cases, identity theft is discovered when a consumer is turned down for a loan and gets a copy of the credit report. If you find that your credit report has errors on it regarding your credit, you must contact them immediately and tell them that you feel you may have been the victim of identity theft. This would be evident if there were a lot of charges and debts that did not belong to you. One mistake on the credit report does not indicate identity theft in most cases. There are often times that there simple mistakes on the credit report that can easily be alleviated. You should also contact the other credit reporting agencies so that you can make sure that they do not have the same erroneous information. Ask that the information be removed immediately in writing from your credit reports. They may have to do an investigation, but will have to remove the item from your credit report while the investigation proceeds. Monitoring your credit reports can help you stave off the possibility of identity theft.

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